Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Automatically Liking Someone Else's Child

Is it just me or do people expect you to automatically love their kids because you are a mother?  I get the distinct impression that they do.  Hhhmn.  Maybe something is wrong with me but I don't agree.  Let me clarify.
I love children.  Even before I became a mother,  I felt like I had the mom gene.  I love children and they were naturally drawn to me.  At one point in time I even considered teaching children.  Now, being a mom myself I must admit that I have additional emotional feelings/connections for children.  However, I do not like rude children.  I do not mean the run-of-the-mill mischievous or even, naughty child.  I am talking about them bad-ass kids you just feel like smacking upside the head (yeah, I said it ... don't get all judgemental like you've never thought of it), you know the type I'm talking about.  They are totally out of control and think the world owes them a favour, or they are too cute to be polite and that manners isn't cool and so it's not for them.  That description does not go for teenagers (we all know they are a special kind ... lol).  I am talking plain ole BRATS!
Now the parents of these kids like to act like their kids are everyone else's problem but their own. They also feel like because they are kids you must LOVE them.  Whatever!  I've got news for those parents "they are not my problem and I don't have to like them".  As a matter of fact I feel parents of out of control children need to take control and stop holding the world hostage for your kids.  I am very aware that some children suffer from behavioural and other issues (not talking about those)and my heart goes out to those parents.  But when you have a rude child because they are just spoilt and in disciplined I do not feel obligated to them or their parents.
You may say I have these feelings because my child is still too young and so I do not understand.  I will agree that disciplining a 19mth old is vastly different from that of a 5, 8 or 10 year old. However, I do think that instilling discipline begins early.  At 19mths he is very wilful - he will bite (or try to), slap and pinch to get his way.  These are behaviours I do not tolerate and let him know that they are not acceptable (even though he is a cutie).  You can rest assured that any behaviour I will not tolerate from my child, I surely will not tolerate from another child.  No child is too cute or young to learn discipline and manners.  Way too often parents with this mindset find themselves facing much bigger problems in the future.
I am certain that regardless of future occurrence I will always love my son unconditionally.  He may not be perfect to others and he might have unacceptable behaviour to others (even myself), but he is mine to love and cherish and I will.  I will love him enough for those persons who for whatever reason may not like/love him.  I will also do all I can to guide him in the right direction.  I also urge other parents to try this approach.  Do not rely on others to love you children for you and do not take for granted that others will love or tolerate your children (even if they are also parents).
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PS: Maybe if we all do our jobs as parents, giving enough love and hugs while instilling discipline, everyone will eventually be able to love and tolerate each other.  Worst case - we may all love ourselves.


Sunday, 21 April 2013

Unsolicited Advice

The topic of this blog has been on the front burner for several weeks.  You see, since becoming pregnant with my son, I have been bombarded with advice.  Some welcomed, some ... not so much and most are unsolicited.  I find that people are keen to give advice to a first-time mom, whether or not she wants it.  You get advice ranging from what shoe to wear (I was expected to quit wearing any shoe with a heel - like really now), what foods to eat (only eat vegetables and take vitamins - uuuum, all the food groups are important including the junk food group *ROFL*) and what was recommended acceptable behaviour "in my days" (guess what? this is my day now - back off).
Then comes the baby and an entirely new set of advice, especially when you return to work.  Some of the advice are coming from people whose children are absolutely atrocious.  People who I would never dream of taking advice from and people whose parenting examples  I would never deign to follow.  They make recommendations that seem so detrimental you would almost opt to believe your child cannot possibly survive unless you "do this" and "do it now".  Like seriously, how then did I successfully manage to have my baby survive maternity leave with me as primary caregiver without these advice.  Uuuugh! Really now! Sigh :-(
Since beginning my journey as a parent (proud mommy of a very happy, well-adjusted 19 month old boy)I have learnt to weed out the good ideas from the bad ones.  Or as my mom aptly puts it "take it all with a grain of salt."  I have learnt to follow my instincts and whenever there is a doubt, I ask people I trust for advice; my mom,  his paediatrician or other parents that I can rely on.
After all that, let me now say that I can understand where the bearers of these unsolicited advice are coming from.  Many of them mean well, even if the advice is ill-timed and unwelcome.  As the proud aunt of an absolutely adorable one-week old nephew *grins* I now find myself wanting to give advice (gasp) *bigger grin*.  However, I have found that based on my own experience with unsolicited advice so fresh in my memory, I almost always find the will power to restrain myself.  Also, I am totally confident that my brother and his lovely wife are going to be great parents and they are doing a splendid job thus far.  Whenever I am asked for advice I give it.  Otherwise I am content to step aside and watch them find their own way of doing things with their son.  The fact is, my hands are filled with my own.  I am thoroughly enjoying this ride called parenthood and want them to enjoy their own.
It is nice to share experiences, but hold off on giving advice until you're asked or at least until the person seems to be in need.  Being available with a shoulder to lean on, is quite enough.
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PS: Every experience is wonderful and challenging in its own way.  All the differences/diversities are what make each person's experience uniquely their own.  Let us all allow each person their own.  Nuff love xoxo.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

To Protect and Serve

I find that since becoming a mom I have a natural instinct to protect my bundle of joy (quite a large bundle now).  This feeling is not just some remote, run-of-the-mill, on and off thing.  It is an earnest, get angry and will hunt down a mosquito with the intent of annihilation for biting my baby (he's growing up fast, but still my baby #Don'tJudge :-) ).
Let us rewind to last weekend.  The plan was to spend Saturday with family and then Sunday at church and then relax.  Things started going downhill when I forgot the shoe I planned to wear to church by my mom.  You may ask, why not just change outfit to match another pair of shoe (as a busy mom, I had noooo intentions of getting an entire new outfit prepared).  The plan was therefore, to collect the shoes before church (*Sigh* now a perpetual late-bug with baby in-tow, not a good idea).  
Now Sunday morning - rushing, picked up shoes, still rushing, now more than half hour late and finally reaching church.  Every parent/guardian out there know how toddlers are. Can I tell you, this lil' boy found everything on the ground fascinating and was taking his own sweet time mosey-ing along, definitely, not on my time line.  To speed up the process I decided to carry him inside (keep in mind, un-level ground, a 30lb toddler, bags and 7-inch heels).  Wait! Before you ask "What was she thinking?" this is a task I have performed a multitude of times.  High heels are a part of my daily attire and I always walk with him while wearing them.  Anyway, let us focus on the matter at hand.  I stooped to pick up baby boy and moved off, when my heel got caught in some crack and threw me off-kilter.  The initial stumble was no biggie and had my hands not been full (quite literally) I would never have fallen.  However, my instinct to protect automatically kicked in and I held on to my son for dear life and fell directly on my knees.  He was totally unscathed, however my knees and my pride weren't so fortunate.  I checked him (he was fine), then got up, dusted of my dress, picked up the spilt items, put back on my shoe, picked him up and went up a flight of stairs to the nearest chair (I didn't dare look at or touch my knees).  After church I asked one of the teenagers to take him to the car for me (he was asleep and even heavier) while I gingerly followed.
So, as I sit in bed typing this, with my more seriously injured leg propped on a pillow, I ponder what other mis-adventures awaits in the future.  I know this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Despite the pain and discomfort (was not aware that my knees came in contact with so many things and quite so often), I have already found the humour in the situation.  I hope and pray the future bumps in the road will be less painful :-).  I also pray that I will be able to protect him from all physical and emotional hurt ( impossible, I know, I know) but a mom can wish, can't she?  Where I am unable to protect him, I will hope that I have given him all the useful tools to cope with whatever obstacles he faces.  Rest assured, a mother's drive to protect her child is as wild and animalistic as in primitive, uncivilised times.  That means instinctive and just PURE LOVE.
Until next time xoxo.


PS:  Falling is definitely not for the grown and sexy ;-) it is purely for the young, and I mean the very young *grins*

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Boy, oh Boy!

I find that many of my girlfriends want to have little girls, a major reason being that boys are too rambunctious.  However, being the mother of a little boy I did not think that they are any more naughty or rambunctious than the little girls I have been in contact with.  Not being your quintessential girlie girl and having a brother just two years my junior, rough-housing and sports come naturally to me.  So I embraced being the mother of a little boy with wide open arms and a smile on my face.
Fast-forward a year and four months later.  OMG!  While I still stand by my initial belief that boys are no more naughty than little girls (at this age), I am finding that compared to my girlfriends with little girls, us mommy's with boys are faced with a lot more worrying moments.  It is my experience that while all children this age seem to like climbing etc., my son seems particularly prone to giving me tiny heart-failures.  He does not seem to have a great sense of balance/direction when running, and, he never seems to walk.  When he does walk he prefers to do so backwards or try to sidestep toys he has placed all over the house like landmines. He consistently has little scratches (nothing major or to concern him) that I have absolutely no clue where they came from even though I watch him carefully.  In the last 3 weeks he has fallen of the sofa handle (no matter how many times I scold him from climbing over the handles he seems oblivious) and gotten a large coco (bump) on his forehead.  That only minutely slowed him down - an hour after the fall I had to slap him for climbing up the very same spot he had fallen.  He also fell and chipped off a tiny potion of his tooth *I can see the grey hairs appearing*.  This was due to the fact that he was running with his truck and fell *sigh*.  I have also found him climbing the gate to try and open the front door and also trying to climb down from the changing table while I am diapering him.  I am at the point where I am on my way home from work and wondering "what has he gotten up to today?"  I have also warned my hairdresser to keep any new-found grey hairs to herself *I mean who really needs that information, seriously?*
OK, so here's where I admit that I may have been a wee bit incorrect on the details - OK, OK, OK, I was wrong.  He may not be any naughtier but he is surely more naturally aggressive, active and a dare-devil than any of the little girls I know at this  stage.  When I tell friends of my saga's with him, they say - "boys will be boys", "a suh dem tan" or "yeah mon, typical bwoy dat".  So here I sit with a few more grey hairs, a lot more tired, a bit stressed for the next mishap, but thoroughly enjoying the flurry of activities that surround a waking child :).
In conclusion, my opinion is that boys are indeed my more rowdy and rambunctious than girls (at least the ones I have been in contact with).  But all children, boy/girls are different in their own special way.  With this in mind I aim to cultivate my lil' boys development in every positive way - even if it means a few more bumps and bruises for the both of us.
'Til next time xoxo.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Mommy/Kiddy Excursion # 1

Hey pals :) you may remember just a short while ago I had made a few promises for the New-Year.  One of which was going on some outing once a month with my gal pal and our children.  I am pleased to say that for the month of January, this was accomplished. Yay!!!
Our first outing was at the zoo :) and also along for the trip was her niece (4 y.o.) and my sister (young adult).  The plan was to leave around mid-day, enjoy viewing some animals and have a picnic on the grass then see a few more animals.  This, is what happened - we both left well after mid-day (picture preparing food and getting yourself and a one year-old ready OR getting yourself and two little girls ages four and one ready).  Suffice to say we reached later than we planned.  Then our usually sunny island of Jamaica became overcast and windy - and there was a downpour at the zoo.  Finally, we arrive at the zoo and found ourselves to be two very over-packed first-time moms (y'all know first-time mummy's pack EVERY thing *lol*).  So we have a muddy/wet location and toddlers that want to be carried and us being weighed down like pack-horses.  Thank God my sister was there, she carried my son *whew*.  The bags were enough for me!  My poor friend had to carry bags and her daughter.  Her niece was interested on our promised picnic on the grass and seeing the snakes :).  After seeing a few animals and stopping to get the kids out the drizzle, we decided to have lunch (remember our promised picnic - up in smokes).  So my friend spent some time having to explain to her four year-old niece why we couldn't have the picnic on the grass like we promised (poor aunt/disappointed kid).  We eventually finished lunch and took lots of pictures and reluctantly became pack-horses once again.  We saw a few more animals (yes, we saw the snakes, as promised *whew*) and then went home.
Despite the weather, over-packing and broken-promises (no picnic) it turned out to be a good day.  We got out of the house and did something fun with the kids (goal accomplished). We also made future notes of what not  to do (like seriously, we both could downsize a tonne on the packing).  But this is all a part of motherhood *happy smile* and it was a great experience for all involved.  We came away from this experience proving that yet again, things do not always go according to plans and that despite challenges you can still adapt and have fun (we did).  We also learned to pack much lighter *grins*. 
So we are now brainstorming to come up with ideas for our next excursion and are anxiously/excitedly looking forward to having some more fun.  We will also be packing lightly *grins*.
See you in a bit ,xoxo

Monday, 14 January 2013

Feeling like a child again

Now that I am into my second year as a mom, I have been thinking about how my son makes me feel(yet again).  I am not sure about you out there but I feel like a child again *grin*.  I suddenly find myself giving thought to things I haven't in ages.  After becoming a "grown-up" I became the focus of my existence - what I wanted to do as fun, where I wanted to go with friends, what I wanted to wear and overall it was me, me, me.  I never gave thought to things I used to do as a child, after all I was a grown-up. 
Fast-forward - same grown-up, however, now a mom :).  All those me's have been replaced by him/my son/my baby etc.  I find myself not so interested in the latest hang-out spots - unless they are child-friendly, not interested in the latest clubs and generally not so interested in focusing on myself.  I now get so excited planning an outing to the zoo with my fellow mom friends (like, seriously.... the zoo hasn't been on MY radar in forever)and is genuinely bouncing off the walls thinking off all the things we can do.  I am planning play dates and baking cookies (this one not yet a reality, only in my mind).  I am already planning what I want to do for Christmas this year ( I know, I know, I AM a mess *ROFL*)the tree, the lights, the baking (Again! in my mind).  I can't seem to stop myself, nor do I want to.  This poor child has no idea the jam packed schedule of activities that are in store for him.
Parenthood can be so stressful, time-consuming, filled with anxiety and tiresome.  However, it also gives me a sense of youth, excitement, exuberance, joy and overall happiness.  These are the things that make me excited to see what each day holds.  See what new things my lil' one discovers and the way my heart fills will joy and expectancy at his discoveries.  These are the things that keeps me youthful, the things that let me experience childhood a second time around and the things that I live for.
Until we meet again, let us go and embrace our youth and live vicarously through our children. xoxo

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Being mom in 2013

Hi my friends :) A Happy and prosperous New Year to you all.  You may have been wondering where I disappeared to since my last blog in August.  Let us just say that I allowed life to run away with me *smile*.  Being a new/first-time mom in 2012 I was trying to find myself and so I basically winged the whole mom thing.  Don't get me wrong, I took my job as a mom very seriously and did all that was necessary for the well being of my then baby.  However, looking back on a year that moved so fast, it still all seems a blur, I can honestly say that most of my parenting was impromptu and learning as I went along.  Basically nothing planned.  I can see some of you more experienced parents out there smiling at my use of the word 'planned', as you may have a hint of where I intend to go :).
For me growing up as a child - I was lucky to have great parents and siblings with whom we still have a great relationship.  While we didn't have specific family traditions, I do have very fond memories of us doing many things together.  Now, as a parent myself, I find it quite difficult to make time to do family activities.  My days are consumed with long, exhausting work hours that sometimes includes the weekend.  When I get home in the evenings I have about 2 hours before I need to put my lil' one to bed (I am currently trying a bedtime routine).  This leaves just enough time to play and cuddle before he's off to bed and I am prepping for the next day of work.  The weekends tend to be hectic with me frantically trying to fit in everything that could not have been squeezed into the work-week.  I have found myself on several occasions just absolutely frazzled and barely having enough energy to keep up with my now 15-month old son.  That was my routine for 2012 and now looking back at the year I realise that I can pin-point very few outdoor activities I did with my son.  It is very easy to get caught into the trap of plunking him down in front of cartoons and getting caught up in my other activities.  Thankfully (and not so much so) I have a little boy that demands his 'me' time with his mommy.  He will not sit for hours in front of the TV and he comes and pulls me by the hand all over the place with him (I feel like his personal teddy):), he's such a sweetheart.  He loves to play (very rambunctious), count and give his mom hugs and kisses ( I live for them).
So while I do not generally make resolutions, I do have some specific plans for us in 2013.  I plan on taking him out somewhere at least once a month - and I do not mean a trip to grandma's.  I mean play dates and trips to the beach, zoo or just even dressing him up and going on the mall.  I want to us to have family game nights and many other interactive things.  He is growing up so quickly and before I know it he will be a big boy who doesn't want to be seen with his mom.  As such I am cherishing every moment I have with this precious little boy whose whole world still revolves around his mommy. I also plan to squeeze in some of my own 'me-time', I realse that since the birth of my son I have done nothing for myself (that's also no good).  I know that I need to strike a healthy balance, but the fact is, something always gets left behind.  If at all possible I'm going to fit in everything this year ;).
In conclusion it seems that I am actually making resolutions this year (hmmmn).  I resolve to live a full life, a good life for me and my son and to make lasting memories for us both.  Life is a gift to be cherished and made use of, not shelf, hide away or squander.  I also resolve to blog more *grins*.  Now that I think about it, tomorrow I am taking part of my lunch time so go search for a cute day-planner and I intend to use it :). 
Again, I wish for you all to have a prosperous, healthy and worthwhile 2013.  Go out in the world and make each day count for something.  Until we meet again, walk good xoxo.